A recent study of three of the most popular takeout cups found that coffee cups in particular release more microplastics than previously thought due to exposure to hot liquids and extra movement. . However, these chemicals affect women’s bodies in particular.
Life is plastic, it’s (not) fantastic
We often hear about plastic pollution in the context of environmental protection, but the consequences are not just in our oceans. Microplastics are not what we handle, they are in much of what we consume. It is found in meat and milk, and is also found in fruits and vegetables.
The plastic epidemic means that plastic finds its way through our bodies, including our reproductive systems. and the consequences of exposure can have devastating effects on hormones.
A study from King’s College found that consuming microplastics can stress the immune system and interfere with women’s hormones and menstrual cycles. and artificially increase estrogen by mimicking the hormone.
One of the main reasons microplastics in particular are so dangerous is BPA, a compound used in the manufacture of plastics that leads to ovarian cysts, endometriosis and even breast and cervical cancer. BPA is also responsible for her PCOS, a leading cause of female infertility, which currently affects about 10% of women in the United States, and that number is expected to rise.
Venti, Grande, Micro?
No diet on earth can completely protect us from microplastics. Yet, as with many toxic substances, it is important to reduce our net exposure to microplastics. And new research suggests our daily latte could be the place to start. Just one cup of take-out coffee can mean ingesting 90,000 extra plastic particles per year.
During the study, researchers attempted to simulate the lifespan of a typical takeout cup. They used a hot liquid, left it for varying amounts of time, and even pressed a cup against it to simulate the shaking of a delivery driver (or someone in a rush to work). ). The cup released most of the plastic particles within 5 minutes of he coming into contact with the liquid and gradually increased to about 2,000 particles by 30 minutes of contact.
The study also compared three different types of cups, including standard coffee to-go cups, sturdy cups like those used in fast food restaurants, and thinner plastic cups. Of the three, the coffee cup performed the worst, probably due to the fragility of the plastic lining inside the container.
Microplastics mean any plastic less than 5 mm in diameter, but most of the particles released were very small, less than 50 micrometers. While this may not seem like much of a problem, it can actually be more dangerous as small plastic particles can penetrate human cells.
Finally: an ounce of prevention
Avoiding microplastics entirely is a huge challenge for anyone who wants to eat food, drink water, and clean their homes, but it also minimizes exposure to the worst sources of hormone disruptors. In light of this research, we encourage you to consider embracing the hassle of a plastic-free, reusable coffee mug for your daily latte. Your hormones will thank you.
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